All winners of the current contest will be announced on this page with links to all our previous poetry book award winners, shortlisted entries and judges comments.


The 2021 Awards

The winners were as follows:

1st Prize          MAP OF A PLANTATION – Jenny Mitchell, London, England

Jenny Mitchell is winner of the Ware Prize, Folklore Prize, the Segora Prize, the Aryamati Prize,  the Fosseway Prize, a Bread and Roses Award and Joint Winner of the Geoff Stevens Memorial Prize.

She has been nominated for the Forward Prize: Best Single Poem, and her best-selling debut collection, Her Lost Language, is one of 44 Poetry Books for 2019 (Poetry Wales), and a Jhalak Prize#bookwelove recommendation.

Her poems have also been published in Magma, The Rialto, The Morning Star, The New European among others, as well as several anthologies. She has performed her work in Italy, France and regularly in London.

For more information follow Jenny on Twitter – @JennyMitchellGo


2nd Prize         ALCHEMYFiona Perry, Oxford, England

Fiona Perry was born and brought up in Northern Ireland and has lived in England, Australia and New Zealand. She is both an accomplished writer of modern poetry and fiction.  Her short story, ‘Sea Change’ won first prize in the Bath Flash Fiction Award in 2020 and her short fiction was shortlisted for the Australian Morrison Mentoring Prize in both 2014 and 2015. She was a contributor to the Label Lit project for National Poetry Day (Ireland) 2019. A graduate of Queen’s University, Belfast and Lancaster University, she has worked as an environmentalist, teacher and editor and lives with her family near Oxford.

Article on ‘Writing Poetry’ – click here.

 


3rd Prize          BONE HOUSEKathy Miles, Aberaeron, Wales

Born in Liverpool, Kathy Miles is a poet and short story writer living in West Wales. Her fourth full collection of poetry, Bone House, was published by Indigo Dreams in October 2020, and her pamphlet Inside the Animal House by Rack Press in 2018. Her short stories have featured in magazines such as The Lonely Crowd, and in a recent anthology, Ugly as Sin and other clichés (Pentad Books, December 2020).

Kathy is a previous winner of the Bridport Prize as well as the Welsh Poetry, Second Light, Penfro and Wells Literature Festival Poetry competitions, and her work appears widely in magazines and anthologies. She has appeared at the Cheltenham Online Poetry Festival and other events and festivals around the UK. She frequently runs poetry workshops, is a regular book reviewer, and a co-editor of The Lampeter Review.


Judges Comments:

I have to say that judging this poetry book competition has proved a huge challenge, but one which became enormously rewarding.

That’ll be no consolation to those who haven’t won of course, but as somebody who has failed in more competitions than pubs I’ve been to, I can sympathise.

Really, it might have been fitting just to announce the top 5 in no particular order, but I have been entrusted with the task of finding a top three in order of preference.

Naturally, judging any competition is a matter of the judge’s own taste, yet I like to think that mine is a very eclectic one and that my spell as editor of Poetry Wales illustrates this. However, as co-editor of Red Poets for 28 years I do have a liking for ones with a political or social inclination.

The two books which almost made the top three certainly fit the latter: Roger Elkins’ ‘The Leading Question’ dealing with the Irish famine with much sensitivity and the environmental, feminist resistance of ‘Swerve’ by Ellery Akers.

In the end, I chose three exceptional books which are very different from each other.

In third place is Kathy Miles’ ‘The Bone House’, so close to the earth and animals, yet equally in touch with mythology. A perfectly-wrought collection which deserved to be on the Wales Book of the Year shortlist, Miles’s imagery startles and amazes, yet is never deliberate or strained.

In second is Fiona Perry’s ‘Alchemy’, always in touch with the natural world and subconscious, Perry manages to make the most mundane things into something magical and sacred, so you become part of a greater being : a pagan force not distant deity. In ‘Wildfire’ she could so easily create an apocalyptic vision, yet despite all the ending is one of rebirth.

And so, to the winner…..’Map of a Plantation’ by Jenny Mitchell, a book which reminded me very much of one of my favourite novelists Andrea Levy.

What I love so much about this are the many distinctive voices she adopts, to bring alive the sheer degree of torment and terror endured by both slaves and servants in the Jamaican plantations.

Here too, however, there’s ultimately a sense of hope, with a final more autobiographical section where Mitchell discovers a… ‘Forest made of freedom’ amidst all the oppressive history of the British empire.

I’d like to say a big DIOLCH YN FAWR to all those poets who sent their books for this competition.

After spending much of the pandemic reading fiction and poetry anthologies, my faith in volumes of poetry has been fully restored.

Mike Jenkins


Shortlist

(in no particular order)

Swerve – Ellery Akers

White Knuckle – Steven Bruce

The Leading Question – Roger Elkin

Northern Lights – Harry Gallagher

Fractures – Carlos Andres Gomez

Bone House – Kathy Miles

Map Of A Plantation – Jenny Mitchell

Alchemy – Fiona Perry

Risking It – Sylvia Byrne Pollack

Thunder Alley – Mark Ward


To find out more or buy copies of these great books just click the author / title above.


Long List

(in no particular order)

Swerve – Ellery Akers

33.9 Million Miles from Lyme Regis – Laurie Avadis

White Knuckle – Steven Bruce

Airplane Baby Banana Blanket – Benjamin Dodds

The Leading Question – Roger Elkin

Other Saints Are Available – Mark Fiddes

Northern Lights – Harry Gallagher

Fractures – Carlos Andres Gomez

Tracks – Dominque Hecq

A Brief History of Trees – Lawrence Illsley

Naked Since Faversham – Alex Josephy

Blood And Water – Rebecca Lowe

A Suitcase Filled With Hope – Antony Mair

Grocery List Poems – Rhiannon McGavin

Bone House – Kathy Miles

Her Lost Language – Jenny Mitchell

Map Of A Plantation – Jenny Mitchell

Alchemy – Fiona Perry

Risking It – Sylvia Byrne Pollack

The Two Of Us – Lloyd Rees

Devil’s Lake – Sarah M. Sala

Field Notes – Anna Selby

Good Morning To Everyone Except Men Who Name Their Dogs Zeus – Lannie Stabile

Thunder Alley – Mark Ward

Ping – Iain Whiteley


To find out more or buy copies of these great books just click the author / title above.


If you haven’t done so already, sign up to our newsletter to keep in touch.  In 2022 we are offering the following prizes:

1st Prize – £300 plus a one-year subscription to PN Review

2nd Prize – £150

3rd Prize – £75

Winners also get:

  • Great Amazon & Goodreads reviews
  • Earn recognition from having an award-winning book
  • Certificate, logo to use on books and future work
  • Your book cover & link on our website
  • All books donated to local libraries / schools after the awards so you get more publicity
  • Carcanet Press will consider the winners for possible inclusion in PN Review & New Poetries

Past Winners

To see lists of previous winners and shortlisted entries, plus the judges’ comments use the links below:

The 2021 Awards

The 2020 Awards